Red Sky at Night
It was nearly dark. As the sun set in the west a bright orange glow lit the clouds over the mountains. A chilly wind blew across the freshly plowed stony land. Out of the car to quickly capture the image and then retreat once again to the warmth inside. Head on back to Wanaka to takeaway dinner and a bottle of wine with friends.
A westerly front had been building all day and storm clouds had been building over the mountains. The ominous nature of the weather to come was reflected in the clouds as the sun settled in the west. Skiers hoped that the threatened weather change would come to nothing, and so it was as the next day brought only periods of thin high cloud over the southern ski fields and only moderate winds.
On our return journey from Tarris to Wanaka in Central Otago the light faded quickly but as the sun sank in the west we were presented with this lovely orange sunset over the Harris Mountains and the Southern Alps. This type of occasion keeps us coming back to Central Otago, with its snow-capped mountains in the winter and vast dry open plains in the summer. The dark form on the left of the image is the Pisa Range. Click on the image for a larger view.
The sign near the mountain viewing area on Gillespies Beach Road reads “EXTREME CAUTION – Narrow Road – Winding Next 12 km – NO EXIT”. What do you do? The view of the setting sun reflected on the Southern Alps had been spectacular. It was getting darker by the minute. There was no chance of a visit the next day, so we took the chance. The sign was right. Not only was the road narrow, but it was unsealed and winding for the 12 km journey to the rugged west coast Gillespies Beach.
It was worth the drive. Twilight was fading fast as we arrived and the sunset colours were draining from the sky. A short walk through bush from the Department of Conservation campsite brought us onto a wonderful stretch of beach covered with large rounded pebbles and strewn with driftwood. People watching the remains of the sunset were silhouetted against the sky, while others were illuminated by the flames of from driftwood camp fires . What a magical place to watch the day turn into night.
Careful navigation in the dark on the return journey was made easier with the help of the GPS to warn of sharp corners ahead.
Cox’s Bay at Sunset
For many years, before the construction of the North Western Motorway, one of the main routes out of the City of Auckland to its western suburbs was via the West End Road which passes Cox’s Bay where Cox’s Creek enters the Waitemata Harbour. My childhood memories of driving past this bay are of old sailing craft anchored at moorings, or resting on the mud flats at low tide. In those days there were a number of “Mullet Boats” moored in the bay. These boats, hailing from the 1880’s, were shallow draft centre board yachts designed for easy handling by a man and a boy with a rig that could easily be reduced to cope with the ever changeable Auckland weather. Although the Mullet Boat was originally designed as a fishing vessel, it became a popular racing class in the 1920’s and still has a small but enthusiastic following today.
This image was taken at Cox’s Bay, Auckland at Sunset last Saturday. The old boat easing its way into the steps by the bridge over the creek looks very much like and old mullet boat that has been converted into a launch. The lines are similar but the mast is missing and the cockpit and cabin appear to have been enlarged. Please be aware that this is my uninformed observation. That aside, it was a beautiful sunset that night.
Dusk and sunset are great times for photographers. Having a beach virtually to one’s self at this time of day is magic. This image was taken on the evening before bad weather closed in.
The West Coast of the South Island is rugged and, for the most part, remote. Truman Beach is only three kilometers from the very popular Punakaiki Rocks tourist spot. Whereas the lookout at the Punakaiki Rocks is busy at most times of the day, this tiny beach only a short drive north receives only a fraction of the number of visitors the “Pancake Rocks” at Punakaiki. The limestone formations and caves in the cliffs make the visit worthwhile. At one place a small waterfall drops to the pebble beach from a stream at the top of the cliff.
West Coast Sunset
Truman Beach is reached via the Truman Track which is 3 km north of Punakaiki on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It is a lovely isolated beach with limestone formations and caves. As the sun sets in the evening flocks of birds make their way to overnight nesting places. What a way to end a day!
Whangarei Heads, Northland, New Zealand
If one follows the road east from the Town Basin in New Zealand’s northern-most city of Whangarei the journey will take you past the remnants of a volcanic cone, beautiful beaches and rural pastureland and end at an ocean beach at the northern head of the Whangarei Harbour.
The volcanic landscape includes Mt Manaia, Mt Lion and Bream Head which are the scattered remnants of a large, 50 kilometer diameter volcano that erupted with force 20 million years ago during. Its jagged outline is similar to that of other volcanic outcrops in Northland that erupted at about the same time.
These images were taken late afternoon on a glorious spring day last weekend.
Eight in Line
Taken in Melbourne, Victoria in 2009 from a bridge crossing the Yarra River. This image has been worked on in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 using the ethos outlined in David duChemin’s book Vision & Voice – Redefining your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. David asks the question “How did it feel?”
The photograph presented itself quite by chance. After work rowers were on the river training as the sun lowered itself to the horizon. I saw them coming towards me and the idea of capturing them in silhouette occurred to me. As the rowers came through the sunlight reflected off the water the moment arrived. Straight out of the camera the image seemed pretty good. However, but a bit of work with the blacks, exposure, highlight recovery and enhancement of the blue of the bow canvas and yellow of the oar blades brought the image to how I remembered it and “how it felt”.
I have been reworking some of my photographs since reading the book and feel that I am now starting to get more mood from the images than previously.
Sunset – Lake Waikaremoana
On the day we arrived at Lake Waikaremoana in January 2009 there was a wonderful sunset. Our group had arrived at the camping ground throughout the afternoon, had its usual animated and jovial conversation over a barbeque dinner and then take a short walk along the lake shore to observe the setting sun. The evening could not have been more perfect and set the scene for the days of hiking that followed.
Sony Alpha DSLR – A200, 1/60 sec, F 14, ISO 200, Sony DT 18-70 mm lens at 70 mm